Sunday, August 12, 2012

Alverde Concealer Review

Hi guys!

Today I'm reviewing a cream to powder concealer that I picked up in Germany from the brand Alverde, which is a drugstore brand that features all natural products. I've never tried anything from them before, but I swatched this concealer and thought it had good coverage, so I decided to try it out. Unfortunately, the product is a huge disappointment.

The color match is actually surprisingly good, given that the concealer only comes in one shade (10, Natural Beige), but that's about the only positive thing I can say about it. First of all, it doesn't have nearly as good coverage as I initially thought, I use about 3-4 layers of the stuff on a blemish, and even then the coverage is mediocre at best (By the way, the reason I thought it would cover well is because I tested it on a bug bite scar on my hand, it it covered that up really well. Very misleading!). It also has no staying power; after about 2 hours, I have to touch up, and I am the kind of person who likes to put on makeup in the morning and not have to worry about it the rest of the day. And, as you can see in the photos, I've already hit serious pan on it, even though I've only been using it for 3 weeks.

So, all in all, I would not recommend this concealer, which is a pity because I had such high hopes for it. But I guess this is a case of getting what you paid for, since it only cost about 3 euros. Some inexpensive drugstore products are awesome, but this isn't one of them!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Europe Makeup Haul

Hi all!

During my vacation I was in Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, and I picked up a few makeup items in each country. It may seem like a lot in one go, but I'm not planning on buying anything new for a long time!

From left:
Bourjois Volume Fast and Perfect mascara
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, shade 51
P2 Perfect Face Makeup Fixing Spray
P2 Perfect Eyes Base
P2 Stay Colored eye cream in 010 Sandy Beach
Kiko Origami Face Palette in 02 Tangerine Tan
Catrice eyeshadow in Floralista
P2 lipstick in Karnterstrasse
Alverde cream to powder concealer in 10 Natuarl Beige
Kiko Super Shiney lipstick in 191

I got the Bourjois and Catrice stuff in Switzerland, the P2 and Alverde stuff in Germany, and the Kiko stuff in Italy. Other than the Bourjois products, everything was around 5 euros or less. I'm happy with just about everything, and I plan on doing a lot of reviews on these products.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm Back!/ Accutane Update

Hi guys! (if anyone is still reading this, haha!),

I'm back from vacation, so that hopefully means I'll be back to posting regularly again. I did some great shopping while I was away, especially makeup stuff, so I'll be sharing that soon. Since I passed the two month Accutane mark while away, I wanted to give an update on how it's been working for me.

My dermatologist reduced me from two pills to one for my second month, and I have to say that definitely improved the dryness on my skin and lips. My lips are still dry and chapped, but nowhere near as badly as they were before, and the dry patches on my skin have pretty much disappeared. Yay! Unfortunately, the acne itself is another story. It has gone away drastically on my back, which is great, but it's worse than ever on my face. In the past few days it has cleared up a bit, but I'm still disappointed with that. But it has only been two months, so I've still got a ways to go!

By the way, if anyone is experiencing severely chapped lips, good old Carmex works wonders. This stuff is old news, but I only tried it after someone recommended it in the comments on my last Accutane post. Thanks :)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hi guys,

I'll be away on vacation for the next 2 1/2 weeks, so I probably won't be posting much, if at all. I'll be back up posting regularly when I get back!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Shopping My Stash Day 6

Looks like this will be my last Shopping my Stash Day, so much for making it a week! I'm going away for the weekend and I most likely won't be wearing any makeup tomorrow anyway! But overall, I really enjoyed this little challenge and would definitely do it again sometime. Today I used one of my all time favorite palettes, Too Faced's Glamor Revolution.

Eyeshadow: MAC paint pot in Bare Study (all over eye); Too Faced Glamor Revolution palette (Glamazon on lid, Milk Chocolate in crease); Stila illuminizer* (highlight)

Cheeks:Too Faced La Vie En Rose blush

Lips:MAC Viva Glam Gaga 1 lipstick, Benefit gloss in Life on the A List

If you ever feel overwhelemed by your makeup collection, give this challenge a try!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shopping My Stash Day 5

Welcome to Day 5! Remember how I said I stick to neutral eye looks? Well, I lied. I actually love a good purple eye because it really makes my green eyes stand out. I haven't done one in ages, so I decided to pull out some of my neglected purples for today's look. PLus my skin is really bad today, so hopefully the brighter eye look will distract people from that! Just an FYI, the Chanel quad is kind of crappy... the colors aren't all that pigmented (hence the white base), and it's definitely not worth the price. I'm also not crazy about the NYX Jumbo eyeshadow pencils, they crease on me like crazy!

Eyeshadow: NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk* (on lid, as a base); Chanel Stage Lights quad (top right on lid, bottom left in outer v, top left as highlight); Essence Glam Rock eyeshadow in Pink Punk (crease)

Cheeks:Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in Living Doll (love this blush!)

Lips: MAC Kissable Lipcolor in Enchantee


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Shopping My Stash Day 4

Happy 4th of July, everyone! In honor of the holiday, I decided to do something festive with my eye makeup. I wouldn't normally wear something like this during the day, since I tend to stick to neutral colors, but it's a fun look for a special occasion

Excuse my wet hair!

Eyeshadow: MAC crushed metallic pigment in Misty (silver, on lid); Stila Sunset (reddish color from the Living the Life in Laguna Beach palette, in crease); Essence 50's Girls Reloaded in 03 Come on Board Captain! (blueish purple color, in outer v); Revlon Skinlights Cream shadow (lightest color, as highlight)

Cheeks: Essence mineral powder blush in 01 Almost Famous

Lips: MAC lipglass in The Wee Coquette*

Just realized that almost none of these products are available anymore... whoops!

Have a great holiday, or if you're not in the US, a great Wednesday :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lancome Rouge in Love Lipcolor: Corail in Love

I have been lusting after this lipstick for months, but I had only ever seen pictures and swatches online, and I almost never buy based on that alone. Who knows what the product looks like in person, or on your own skin? Plus, if it's a more expensive product, I don't want to waste your money on something I don't like. But anywhoo, I finally got the chance to swatch it a few weeks ago in Sephora, and it was everything I hoped for.

Ladies (and gents?), let me present to you, Lancome's Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Corail in Love

This is my first ever high end lipstick purchase (not counting MAC), and I am definitely impressed. It has a lovely, glossy sheen when applied, and I love the color. Coral, but not too coral, and bright, but still wearable (you can always tone down the brightness even more by using a light gloss. I've been loving the Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss on top) . Its a bit of a departure from my normal, neutral-pinky lipsticks, and I mean that in a good way. If I'm going to spend a lot of money on a lipstick, I'd better not have the same one already in my collection! As far as longevity is concerned, I wore this one day, didn't touch it up once, and I noticed that my lips still had traces of coral after about 10 hours and eating in between. Not bad! The packaging is cute too, with the little seam running down the back, and I love the sleek silver. These lipsticks are $25, and are available wherever Lancome is sold.

I am very interested in the other shades in the line... I love the look of Sequence in Love (the one Emma Watson wears in the ads), but I'm not sure I can pull off a red!


Shopping My Stash Day 3

Welcome to day 3 of my Shopping My Stash Challenge!

The MAC colors are from the LE Caviar Dreams quad :)

Eyes: Catrice Gel Liner in Out of This World (base), MAC Retrospeck (lid); MAC Caviar Dreams (crease); Smashbox quad for Hazel Eyes, green color (outer V) (this was a LE Holiday product from a few years ago, I believe); MAC Brule (highlight)

Cheeks: Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush in Natural

Lips: Rimmel lipstick in Nude Pink (available only in Europe, as far as I know)


Monday, July 2, 2012

Shopping My Stash: Day 2

Hello all!
It's day two of my shopping my stash challenge. Today's look is inspired by this video. I love how easy and wearable it is, perfect for summer!
(a * means that I'm trying to use that particular product up)

Someone needs her eyebrows waxed...

Eyeshadow: MAC All That Glitters (lid), Costal Scents 88 Warm Palette (3rd row form left, 4th down in crease and outer corner; 1st row from left, last color as liner; 5th row from left, 2nd down as highlight)

Blush: Maybelline New York Blush #301 (this line is not available in the US, as far as I know :(. A dupe is Milani's Luminous Blush, I think), MAC By Candlelight highlighter, NARS Laguna Bronzer

Lips: Revlon Colorburst gloss in Pink Ice*


Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Favorites

It's time for June favorites! Without further ado, here are the products I've been loving this month:

Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer: After raving about it in my last favorites post, it has come to my attention that my Clarins Bronzer may be breaking me out (serves me right for using something that old), so midway through the month I started usuing this bronzer instead. It is a darker bronzer for me, but somehow it doesn't look too dark or muddy, even on my pale skin. I apply it with a Sigma F25 brush, and I dust it off a little on the back of my hand before applying it to my face. I like this much better than NARS Laguna, so go check this out if you're in the market for a shimmery bronzer.

MAC's blush in Stunner: This will not surprise you if you've payed attention to my makeup in my OOTD posts, but I love this color. It's the perfect, light, peachy-pink for my skin tone, and it's not overly shimmery, but not flat and matte either. Why did this have to be limited edition?!

Lancome's Rouge in Love Lip Color in Corail in Love: Again, hardly a surprise, since I wore this in most OOTD's. I won't go on and on here, since I plan to review this soon, but  I think this might be my new favorite summer lip color.

Clinque Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in 10 Air Kiss: I know, I know, this too was in all of my OOTDS! I got this mini gloss in a set from my cousin for Christmas, and I love the formula of these. They really do last a long time, and give incredible shine to the lips. They are slightly sticky, which I personally like. This color is a pale, sheer pink with shimmer, and it works over just about any lip color. I don't know that I would repurchase this, since I have so many glosses to begin with, but I've been loving it this month!

Josie Maran Argan Oil: I've waited a while to buy into the Argan Oil hype, but my extremely flakey, dry skin led me to this, and I'm very impressed. I apply this every night to my chin (where it has been the flakiest) over my usual night moisturizer, and my dryness has drastically improved! My only complaint? $48 for a bottle...I was a cheapie and bought the small travel size for $14, but I think that'll last me a while, since a little goes a long long way with this.

Non-beauty related favs (only tv shows, for some reason?):

The Office: God bless my mom for having a Hulu+ subscripiton that she lets me use. I've been rewatching episodes of The Office all month long, and Michael Scott never ceases to amuse me. Funny stuff!

Dance Moms: Guilty, guilty pleasure. I only watch it for the dancing, ok! Don't judge me!


Shopping My Stash Challenge: Day 1

Hi guys!

I've been away from home for a month now, and I only had a limited amount of makeup with me. I got back yesterday, and I almost forgot how many amazing things I have that don't get enough love! So I've challenged myself to use a different eyeshadow/palette, blush, and lip combo every day for a week. I've marked the products I'm trying to use up with a *

Here's what I've used for today:

Eyeshadow: Maybelline Bad to the Bronze cream shadow, Sleek Storm Palette (lightest color on the lid, cranberry color in the outer corner), Too Faced Glamor to Go Pixi Palette (pale pink, as highlight/blending color*), Sally Girl Champagne Eyeshadow* (on brow bone)

Blush: Benefit Sugarbomb

Lips: Revlon Primrose lipstick, Maybelline Pink Cadillac lip gloss
Without lip combo
With lip combo (the lighting is weird here, but I swear my face and neck are the same color!!)
Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation Review

Hello all!
Today I'll be reviewing one of my all time favorite foundations: Bourjois Healthy Mix. After watching the Pixiwoo sisters and Lisa Eldridge use this time and time again, I really wanted to give this foundation a try. But, alas, Bourjois is no longer available in the US, so I needed to wait until I went to Europe. Fortunately for me, my whole family is from Switzerland, and we go back to visit often, so I was able to get it last summer. I purchased Healthy Mix and a foundation from L'Oreal (their HD foundation, which isn't available here either. Quick review on that: I didn't like it, won't repurchase, and wouldn't recommend it) and I made myself use up the L'Oreal one before I finally tried Healthy Mix, so I only started using it around March.

 My verdict: Healthy Mix offers exactly what I look for in foundations: It has a good, medium coverage but it never looks cakey or overdone- my skin always looks like skin, not like I've got on foundation. I have dry skin, and this works wonderfully for me because it doesn't accentuate flakes or dry patches. And not that this matters (or maybe it does?), but it smells really really nice (but only when you first pump it out, you won't smell it on your skin all day!).  It wears really well , and with a powder on top it'll last me all day. My shade is 51 (the lightest shade), which, in comparison to my skin, is a bit yellow, but I actually like that since it helps neutralize redness. According to the French website, that particular shade is only available online...I'm not sure if they've stopped carrying it in stores or something, although I did hear somewhere that 51 isn't sold in all countries, so keep that in mind if you're looking for that shade.

My one issue with this foundation? I find that  the pump sometimes gets clogged up and doesn't work well. After pumping it like 10 times and wiping the top, it ends up working fine, but it is a bit annoying. 


I know the picture quality and lighting suck, but hopefully you can see that this foundation got rid of the redness on my nose and cheeks, and reduced the apperence of blemishes. It didn't cover everything, but it's not supposed to, either. With concealer and powder on top, this creates a pretty flawless finish without looking heavy.

Shade: 51
Coverage: Medium
Finish: Satin (not super-dewy, but not matte either)
Price: 14.45 euros (can't remember how much it cost in Swiss francs!)

All in all, I would highly recommend this, if you can get your hands on it, that is! I'll be in Switzerland again this summer, and I'm planning on trying out some other Bourjois foundations. Any suggestions?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday's OOTD: Bright Blue Jeans

Hi all!

Finally, a casual OOTD from me! This is what I wore on Saturday, and it's all brand new from Anthropologie: my parents came to visit me this past weekend, and my mom and I went shopping (as you do ;) ). I've been lusting after this color in jeans for a while, and I think they are so much more fun than your basic jeans. I also never thought this color top would look good on me, but I'm pleasnetly surprised! I don't always like what Anthro (as my mom calls it) has to offer, but I'm really happy with my purchases this time

Another finger covering the lense, sorry! This was my mom's fault though, not mine!

Top: Anthropologie (link)

Jeans: AG Jeans (from Anthropologie) Yes, these are expensive, but they fit great and are so soft and comfortable. The color on the website washes them out a bit, the most accurate picture is the last one.

Shoes: Coach, see previous post for similar options!

Necklace: Thomas Sabo (link). Sadly, I don't think these necklaces are available in the US, which is a real shame. The concept is similar to Pandora, but for necklaces. I got mine in Switzerland, but they're available all over Europe. Might do a post on mine soon!

Med Alert: Lauren's Hope

Makeup: Ummmm can't remember. I know I was wearing MAC's Bombshell lipstick, though, which I also got this weekend.

I'm sorry about all of the OOTD posts. I'm waiting until I get home where I have an actual camera to do more makeup related posts, i.e reviews, swatches, FOTDs, what have you. So in a week or so my posts will be a lot more interesting!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

OOTD: Orange Flower Power

Hi guys!

How summery is this dress? I bought it at Forever21 a few weeks ago and was immediately drawn to the gorgeous color and pattern. It's flowy with fluttering sleeves, but it's cinched at the waist with a belt to make it flattering. It's from their Love 21 line, which is my favorite part of their store; you always find lovely pieces there!

 Cross eyed!

Not sure if you can tell by my crappy pictures, but I put a little braid in my hair to amp up the hippy factor ;)

Dress (belt included!): Forever21. I couldn't find this online, which is weird since I saw it there after I bought it in store... maybe they've sold out? Check your local Forever21!

Shoes: Coach. I got these shoes at Marshalls two years ago, so they're not available any more. Here are a few alternatives: Forever21, Forever21, Piperlime, J-Crew

Necklace: Forever 21. No longer available, but try these instead:Etsy (this one is really close!), Urban Outfitters, Forever21

Makeup: Everyday foundation routine (with a substitution of my Physician's Formula Conceal RX for MAC's Studio Sculpt concealer in NW15),  MAC's blush in Stunner (LE), MAC's mineralize eyeshadow trio in Love to Love (LE),  Lancome's Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Corail in Love, Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss

In other news, I'm currently lusting after the new Benefit lipglosses, especially Dandelion (one of my all time favorite blushes!). Sigh, I dont need another lip gloss, I don't need another lipgloss, I don't need another lipgloss................................

I'll leave you with a parting image: Today, as I was walking into my office, I saw a man walking a dog on a leash, and a cat in a baby carrier. I have no words for this, people, no words.


UPDATE: Found it online! Forever21

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheap and Chic OOTD (from 6/15/12)

Hi guys!

This is a belated outfit of the day from Friday, which I had every intention of posting, but my computer got a terrible virus and was being fixed until Sunday, by which point I completely forgot about posting this. But better late than never! This outfit is all Forever 21 (well, the clothing is, at least!). The skirt is the same one as my nautical OOTD, but, as you can see, I've styled it a bit differently. I am a big fan of blouses that tie at the neck, and the fact that this one was coral and had butterflys all over it sealed the deal for me. Love it! (the fact that my one sad picture covers up the bow tie kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Sorry about that!)

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I took this very quickly on my way out the door and forgot to take additional ones when I got home, as I was totally distracted by my computer mayhem.

Top: Forever21 (link) (this top is sheer, so I wore a plain white cami underneath)

Skirt: Forever21 (link)

Shoes: Tory Burch (link)

Med Alert: Lauren's Hope (link)

Earrings: My earrings are simple, faux pearl studs that I got at a boutique near my university (I think they were $10, but I them on sale for $5). These ones by Forever21 are pretty much the same

Makeup: See my Everyday Work Makeup post; Today I'm wearing MAC's blush in Stunner on my cheeks, and Lancome's Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Corail in Love (this is one gorgeous lipstick, review coming soon!) with Clinique's Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss on top

Since my outfit is so Forever21 heavy, allow me to share my philosophy on said store with you. I believe that, when shopping at Forever21, you need to take your time, search every rack, and try everything on. You never know what hidden gems are lurking behind that display of hideous sequined club dresses, and you may think that top looks great, until you try it on... Keep in mind, too, that not everything is so well made. I recently got an adorable blouse (link), that I can't zip by myself because the zipper gets stuck (not because it's too small or anything, but because the seam is cheaply made). It's a tough store to shop online, too, because a) trying things on is important, and b) their website is extremely overwhelming. But I love Forever21, and I think they have great stuff, if you have the patience to find them!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Accutane Experience: One Month In

Hi guys!
Today's post will be about a little skin care drug known as Accutane (Well, actually, that's a lie. Acctune was taken off the market a few years ago and replaced by a few other drugs that do virtually the same thing. Technically, the drug I am taking is Claravis, but since even my dermatologist refers to it as Accutane, I will use the two interchangeably).

To begin, here's some background info on my skin. I have been getting breakouts since I was about 13, and while I have never been happy with my skin, my acne has not been as bad as some. I guess I would consider myself to have moderate acne, on my face, at least. My biggest issue is with acne on my back (totally gross, I know, but it's actually very common). I have tried every prescription pill and cream, and nothing worked for me. Suffice to say, Accutane was a last resort.

The verdict?

So far, I'm not impressed. Not at all. I realize that I shouldn't expect much in terms of results after so little time, but the side-effects make me wish I had never started to begin with. Ok, that's a bit much, but I hate that I have no results, other than ones I don't want.

First and foremost, my skin has dried out to an incredible degree. Not just normal dryness (like I had before),but nasty, flaky bits that no amount of exfoliation or moisturizer can get rid of. My lips are also dry and flaky, and lip balm does nothing (although maybe I'm not using anything strong enough? If you have a heavy-duty lip balm suggestion, please let me know!). Its pretty embarrassing to talk to people knowing that they can see your nasty, cracked lips and the skin flaking off of your chin...

 Another issue is that it has made my cheeks and nose very red. I've always had a lot of redness in my skin, but this is unlike anything I've experienced before. Foundation, concealer, and powder together can only manage to cover it for about five minutes, and then I'll notice the redness slowly creep to the surface. It basically just looks like I've gotten a sunburn. I also have just as many breakouts as always, so no improvement there. If anything, it's a little worse (which my dermatoligist warned me about), because now I have a bunch of tiny bumps on my cheeks instead of just red acne spots.

So, all in all, I'm not loving this Accutane business. Obviously, no one should decide whether or not to go on Accutane based on this post, because I'm only one month in, and it'll be a while before I start to see results. Seriously, don't base your judgment on this, I'm still optimistic and hopefully I'll start seeing results soon. Just venting because this first month has done nothing for my skin!

 Join my in a month for my next installment of The Accutane Diaries, hopefully with more positive results :)

Have you ever used Accutane? What was your experience, and how were your results?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Redken Blonde Glam Shampoo/Conditioner Review

Hello all!

Today's post is a review of the Redken Blond Glam shampoo and conditioner, which I've been using for about two weeks. Before I dive into the review, here's a little background info on my hair: natural color, thin, rather limp, tends to get dry at the ends.Well, now that that's out of the way, on to the review!

I really like these products. They make my hair feel incredibly soft and nice. I don't think that they weigh my hair down at all, which is a big plus for someone whose hair already lies pretty flat on their head. I also feel that it enhances the natural highlights in my hair, and makes it look very shiny. They do have a scent, but I can't really describe it. Not a bad scent at all, just not your typical shampoo smell. Prior to these, I had been using the John Frieda blond shampoo and conditioner for almost two years, and I still adore and highly recommend those (particularly if you're on a budget, see below). In a weird way, its almost like they enhance my blonde in different ways, if that makes sense. Both great in their own rights, but there's something about the way my hair looks and feels with the Redken products that makes me like them a wee bit better.

The one downside? At about $18 a bottle, this stuff ain't cheap, especially compared to the $5 a bottle my John Frieda cost. I hate to say it's worth the price, since its an obscene amount (at least to me) to spend on shampoo, but I do really, really love these products. I gripe about the price, but I know that once I've used these up I'll be all to happy to fork over the cash for new ones. These are also not the easiest things in the world to find, or at least they weren't for me. I found them in my grocery store by chance, but I haven't seen them anywhere else and Redken doesn't allow you to buy anything from their website. A little searching, though, and I'm sure you'll find out where to buy them in your area.

Any questions, just leave them in the comments :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

J-Crew Tweed OOTD

Hi guys!

Today's OOTD is an all J-crew ensemble (minus the accessories). I love J-Crew. Seriously, best store ever. Almost any age can pull their stuff off, and there's something in there for everyone and every occasion. Are the prices a little high? Sure, but their stuff is well made and tends to last me a long time (plus, they have an outlet site called J-Crew Factory that sells cheaper items, although I've heard the quality is not as good). Unlike my other two work OOTD posts, this is something that I think would be appropriate for any work environment.

( I apologize for my finger covering the lens a little!)

Top: J-Crew (link) I would never have thought to pair this color T-shirt with this skirt, but it they complement each other really well. Thanks sales-lady for pointing it out to me! The one I've linked looks a lot brighter than the one I'm wearing (mine is more of a spearmint green), so it might not be the exact same one

Skirt: J-Crew (link) For whatever reason, my skirt was $10 less in store than the one I've linked? Maybe they're not exactly the same? Not sure, but  its worth checking out your J-Crew's sale section to see if they have any left, just in case you can get a better deal that way

Shoes: Vince Camuto (link). Sorry that I keep cutting my shoes out of my pictures! I think nude flats are a must have for everyone, and are a perfect, every day staple. I did think that these ran a bit big, size-wise. I'm normally an 8, but I had to get the 7.5 instead. 

Necklace: Juicy Couture (link) The necklace I'm wearing is no longer available, as I got it for Christmas, but I've linked basically the same necklace in silver

Med Alert: See my first OOTD post

Makeup: See my Everyday Work Makeup post. This variation includes MAC's blush in Stunner, and Lancome's Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Corail in Love

Hope you had a great start to your week!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Current Loves

Hello all,

Having just narrowly missed the time for May favorites, I figured I would do the next best thing and talk about the products I'm currently loving instead. Namely:

Redken Blonde Glam shampoo/conditioner: I don't want to talk about this too much here, since a review on these products is coming soon, but I am loving this shampoo and conditioner combo! If you have blonde hair, they are definitely worth checking out.

Lush It's Raining Men shower gel: If you like the smell of Honey I Washed the Kids soap, then this, my friends, is for you. I'm actually surprised its taken me so long to try this, since I love its soapy counterpart (they have the exact same scent). But lets face it, shower gels are easier to use, better to travel with, and moisturizes your skin much better than a soap. This shower gel smells so amazing, and while it's a tad expensive, for a shower gel, Lush products always seem worth the indulgence to me.

P2 Perfect Face Makeup Fixing Spray: Like MAC's Fix+, this spray is designed to spray before or after makeup to help it stay on longer and give a dewy finish. My skin has been especially dry and flaky this past month (thank you, Accutane), and this has been an essential part of my daily makeup routine. My face looks so much nicer and glowier with this on, and I look fresh rather than made-up. Since I've never owned the MAC version, I can't say how it compares, but I love it as a product and will be sad once I've used it up (P2 products are only available in Germany, unfortunately).

Clarins Bronzer in 10 Morning Sun: I only use bronzer during the warmer months, and this bronzer has been perfect as a starter bronzer, so that I don't go from super pale to super dark in a day! It is fairly light, which I love since I am very very pale, and it has almost a satin finish (it comes off more matte than shimmery, but it's not completely matte, either). To me, this is the perfect, subtle bronzer.

Coastal Scents 88 Ultra Shimmer Palette (not pictured):  With all this warm weather and sunshine, I've really been into using golds and bronzes on my eyes, and this palette is perfect for this.While I tend to neglect anything but the two left and two right columns, I still highly recommend this palette. And $20 for 88 shadows? Can't beat that!

And for non-beauty related faves:

Downton Abbey: I know, I know, you're sick of hearing about this show already. It seems like everyone and their mother is jumping on the Downton bandwagon and singing its praises. Well, add me to that list of fans! It is such a smart show, everything is carefully thought out and executed, and the attention to detail is extraordinary. Only downside: US viewers have to wait until January to see the next season :(

Summer!: On the back of a rough semester at school, I have never been happier to be on summer vacation. The good/lazy times haven't lasted too long, since I got my wisdom teeth out a week after I got home, and  I started an internship this week, but even that is a refreshing change from my college schedule (class, study, sleep, repeat).

What stuff are you all enjoying lately?

Friday, June 8, 2012

OOTD: Nautical Inspired

Ahoy there!

Today's OOTD is somewhat nautical, which I did not do on purpose. I only noticed it after I got dressed and realized how sailor-y I looked! The blazer is an old favorite of mine that I got at H&M two years ago (which has a sailor vibe all on its own, seeing as the buttons on the blazer have ship steering wheels on them...), and I usually pair it with jeans or a jeans skirt. Today I mixed it up a little for work, and wore a new, navy blue skirt from forever21. The skirt is a little mod, but it doesn't steal focus from the busy blazer, and, unlike some forever21 items, it actually feels very well-made. I love the way this outfit looks on, and the pop of a bright tank top makes it look so young and fun. Incidentally, the skirt and the tank top look adorable paired together on their own, but adding the blazer made the outfit more worky and less casual (I took the last two pictures at the end of my day, so sorry for the wrinkles!)

Top: Hollister (no longer available, but any bright tank from any brand would work)
Blazer: H&M (no longer available, unfortunately!)
Skirt: Forever21 (link)
Shoes (not pictured): Silver Tory Burch flats (link) (I told you I wear them with everything!)
Earrings: Anthropologie (link) These earrings a such a fun twist on classic pearls, and I wear them all the time
Med-Alert: see previous OOTD post

Makeup (Something from MAC's Hey Sailor would have been appropriate, but I didn't buy anything from that collection): MAC Prep and Prime SPF 50, Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation in 51, Physicians Formula RX concealer in Fair/light (on blemishes), Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer (under eyes), Clarins Bronzer in 10 Morning Sun, MAC Dame blush, MAC mineralize eyeshadow trio in Love to Love (LE), Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Mascara, MAC Beachbound lipstick (LE), Milani lipgloss in Whisper


Everyday Makeup Routine For Work

I'm the first to admit I am not a morning person (nor am I a night person... I'm more of a middle-of-the-day person. But I digress), so when it comes to doing my makeup for work, I have a routine down pat that is easy enough to do when I'm sleepy. My internship is actually away from home, so I wasn't able to bring too many products (which is why my makeup posts are a bit repetitive at the moment!), but I planned it out so that I have everything I need to look polished for work.

1. Foundation routine: My foundation routine is always the same: MAC Prep and Prime SPF 50, Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, Maybelline Dream Lumi-Touch concealer under my eyes, Physician's Formula Conceal RX on blemishes, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, Clarins Bronzer in 10 Morning Sun (a must have for pale ghosties like me!)

2. Eyebrows: I'm not one to fuss with my brows, since they're fairly thick to begin with, but I usually run a tiny bit of my Essence Brow Pencil (mine was called light brown, but I believe it's now called blonde? Not really sure, but it's whichever one's lightest) with Essence Brow gel to hold them in place

3. Cheeks: Either MAC Stunner (LE, sadly!), or MAC Dame, depending on whether I want a pinker cheek or a peachy-pink ( I know, the difference is astronomical ;) )

4. Eyes: Too Faced Natural Eye palette, and I mix up what colors I use daily. One of my favorite looks (borrowed from an older video of Michele1218's) is Silk Teddy on the Lid, Velvet Revolver in the crease, and Erotica in the outer corner, with Heaven as a highlight (if you work in a  conservative office environment, I would forgo any shimmery shadows and just work with mattes). I finish off the eyes with one coat of Fairy Drops Scandal Queen mascara

5. Lips: This is where I mix it up the most, but I've especially been liking Milani's Lipgloss in Whisper. I always prep my lips beforehand with my EOS lip balm in Strawberry Sorbet (I think that's what it's called? Its the light pink one!)

And there you have it! I find that the whole routine doesn't take me too long to do, since I pretty much have it down to a science. If you have less time but still want to look polished, I recommend just lightly dusting Push Up from the Too Faced Palette all over your lid, and eliminating the foundation, bronzer, and second concealer from the routine (whichever one you need less!). Quick tip: lay out your makeup the night before so that you know exactly what you want to use in the morning. This has helped me a lot throughout the school year to avoid falling into a makeup rut!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Very First (Work) OOTD

Confession: I may be the most unphotogenic person ever. Seriously. I am one of those people who just can't take a good photo, and believe me, I try! I was desperately perusing my pictures to try and find something suitable for my first post, and the only quasi-decent thing I found is almost a year old. Not only that, but my camera (iphone) quality is pretty terrible. Note to self: buy a real camera! To sum up: don't expect anything but mediocre photos from me. That being said, here's my first OOTD! I work in a pretty relaxed office, so this might not be appropriate for every work environment. However, I think just changing from shorts to pants would make this appropriate for more conservative offices. Keep in mind that all but the first photo were taken at the end of my workday, and the rest were taken at the end so all of my makeup is gone and my hair is a wreak (in other words, ignore my hair and face!)

Awwwkward camera angle, trying not to have my phone in the shot

Hi there! Man, do I look tired...

Top: Zara  (link) This top is way more coral in person than it is in these pictures

Blazer: Zara (link)

Shorts: J-Crew (link) One word of caution, these shorts crease like no one's business. Felt a bit embarrassed when I got up from my desk and saw how unkempt I looked. And not sure if you can tell by the pictures, but they are in fact high waisted.

Shoes: Tory Burch (link) My second pair of these shoes (as I wore out/destroyed my first), and let me tell you, these are without a doubt the best shoe purchase I have ever (and possibly will ever) made. They go with everything, can be dressed up or dressed down, and are very comfortable. If you only buy one pair of high-end shoes, make it these!

Bracelets: My mom got these for me in Charleston, South Carolina last spring, so unfortunately I don't have a link on where to get them :( I'm sure if you google it you'll find something similar.

Med-Alert: (link) This is the cutest med-alert ever, and everyone mistakes it for a Tiffany bracelet, which is a plus. I can't find the exact one I have, but I've linked something almost identical from the same website that I bought mine from.

Makeup (not that you can see it!): MAC Prep and Prime SPF 50, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 51, Physicians Formula Conceal RX in light/medium (on blemishes), Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer (under the eyes), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in light, Clarins Bronzer in 10 Morning Sun, MAC blush in Stunner, Too Faced Natural Eye Palette (Silk Teddy on lid, Push Up in crease, Coco Puff in outer corner, and Heaven as my highlight), Fairy Drops Scandal Queen mascara, MAC lipglass in It's a Wow